This is the full read-only archive of the "Ask the Wordwizard" section of the original Wordwizard site. The responses to the questions originate from Jonathon Green, the compiler of the Cassell Dictionary of Slang and numerous other dictionaries.
Stop is a Teutonic rendition of Latin stuppare, to stop up, to stuff with tow or oakum. This 'blocking up' image precedes that of stopping still or stopping someone from doing something, both of which can be seen as figurative uses of the original.ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Jonathon Green